Food, Beer, and Travel

a dump from the mind of Jon Piper

Posts Tagged ‘airplanes’

Cleveland Airport – safety second

Posted by jwpiper on January 29, 2009

There are lots of benefits to living in Cleveland. One minor example which only surfaces periodically for a few months a year is that air traffic control will land and take off plans in any weather. It’s nice to have a minor hub for a major airline in town, making travel easy, but the periodic snow dumps we get could be a real pain if Cleveland were a more major hub. As it is, we fit just the right profile to be important enough to fly in crazy weather and unimportant enough to make that possible.

I don’t even know how many inches of snow we got over the 24 hours previous to my landing, but visibility was about a mile and the runway was a complete mess. To put the weather in perspective, after landing, it took me 3 times as long to drive home as it usually would. In truth, they did close the airport just before we landed and again just after we landed. But at most cities, either our flight would have been cancelled in the first place or we would have been rerouted to another city. But not Cleveland. The picture above is outside my window of the snowplows only a hundred or so yards away from the plane on one of the runways.

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Turbulence

Posted by jwpiper on December 29, 2008

Last night, on the plane from Fort Lauderdale to Cleveland, I had an experience which I’ve come to quite enjoy the more I fly: turbulence. Now, we were in a 737, which are generally boring flights (give me a prop any day), but with the changing weather fronts in Cleveland, the plane danced on its way down.

What is it that I like to about turbulence? I guess in the life I lead I’m not often faced with my own mortality on a regular basis. I live a comfortable life in a nice neighborhood in a politically and civilly stable country. I don’t often let go of control over my physical body – I walk, I drive, I sit, I lay – and in most cases, I’m acting on my environment or trusting in faithful friends such as gravity and friction. When flying, I have no control. That doesn’t even cross my mind on a regular basis because I walked on the plane and I sat down.

But when I’m being tossed about in the sky, my control is given over to a pilot who isn’t me and physical principals which I’m much less familiar with. Sure, I can understand and explain those principals, but it’s a palpable reminder that I’m not really in control of much of anything. Its also a reminder of Who is, and I find it quite comforting.

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